Let's talk about the NORTH EAST!
Iâ€™m a true believer of the quote â€˜If youâ€™re passionate about the work you do, youâ€™ll never have to work a day in your lifeâ€™.
I deliver Bridge 2 Business (B2B) in both Dundee and Angus College (D&A) and North East Scotland College (NESCol) supporting existing projects, the college curriculum and helping students test and start businesses. 2016 has flown in and itâ€™s scary to think weâ€™re now in the new academic year!
In March last year the â€˜Bridge 2 Business Awardsâ€™, which are sponsored by Scotland Can Do, were launched in recognition of entrepreneurial excellence across the FE college sector. There are five categories aimed at recognising the young people, students, education professionals, entrepreneurs and institutions that are leading the way in the development of entrepreneurialism in Scotland.
The winners were announced at the beginning of August and both north east colleges were recognised for the fantastic work they do. NESCol were crowned Entrepreneurial College of the Year and D&A were highly commended. NESCol won the award as a result of them being the most entrepreneurial focused FE College, combining student attainment with commercially focused activities and skills development. Iâ€™m absolutely delighted for both colleges in the north east being recognised for their hard work.
Ross Grattan, D&A was awarded B2B Champion of the Year due to his dedication and commitment to entrepreneurial learning and thinking throughout 2015/16. Iâ€™ve had the pleasure of working closely with Ross for the last two years to grow his business, Blue Bottle Craft. Ross has now graduated after studying animation full time and was one of the first businesses to be located in the D&A incubator. Iâ€™m really excited to see what the future holds for Ross and Blue Bottle Craft!
Winning the awards has to be the highlight of 2016 for me but Iâ€™ve had a lot of exciting projects throughout the year.
Iâ€™ve had the pleasure to work alongside a lot of inspiring people and this year I developed a project alongside one of the many superstar NESCol lecturers, Kathy Horne.
Kathy is constantly introducing new enterprising ways to learn and with my support we introduced a new element to the NC Digital Media course this year. To bring the learning experience to life I sourced 3 businesses in Aberdeen city and shire to work with a class of students and act as a client. Businesses spoke to the students about their business and the students had masterclasses on finance and branding from local accountants and branding experts.
Over the course of 6 weeks the students developed a range of tailor-made digital media products. They created apps, websites, managed social media and pitched their finished products to the businesses. The students were given the chance to work and liaise directly with the businesses giving them the opportunity to experience of liaising and developing products for their own clients, similar to what running a digital business would be like.
Our Elevator #MakingItHappen Conference which was named â€˜Aberdeen's Best Event for Start Ups and Entrepreneursâ€™. #MakingItHappen welcomed aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners, future leaders, students and school pupils to the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre and North East Scotland College, Fraserburgh. The theme throughout the conference wasâ€“ If not you, who? If not now, when? â€“ aims to encourage delegates to make it happen for themselves. With over 900 delegates, 2 venues, 9 speakers, 5 live pitches, 2 hosts- Elevator certainly Made it HAPPEN! You can read more about it from a guest blog that was written by Victoria Grozier, Brand Houzz http://bit.ly/2jC5UZt
I worked closely over the summer with D&A and NESCol to develop a timetable for enterprise that helps students with idea generation, business start up and growth. Iâ€™m looking forward to what lies ahead for the north east, I guess Iâ€™m biased but I think Iâ€™m working with the best lecturers and students in Scotland!
Roll on the new academic year of 2017/2018... DREAM BIG!